Filmmaker Gary Hustwit makes documentaries about design that you don’t need to be a design geek to love. Helvetica was both a dissection of that most ubiquitous and divisive font and an engaging character study, while his second film Objectified used industrial design as a starting point to examine how manufactured objects define the world around us. For the third film in his trilogy, Hustwit is turning his lens toward cities, the most crucial design problem of our time. In Urbanized, Hustwit will examine the issues that architects, city planners and policymakers face as the world’s population increasingly migrates into urban centers.
Hustwit’s previous films drew in viewers who had never given a second thought to the American Apparel font or the design philosophy behind the iPhone, so Urbanized is likely to be an engaging entrypoint into new urbanism and offer the movement a considerable visibility boost. The film is set for release in late 2011 or early 2012, and Hustwit is soliciting funds via Kickstarter to offset production costs. Backers get a number of very cool perks, such as a collection of four beautiful silkscreened posters representing mobility, housing, public space, and infrastructure.
Also worth checking out is the Urbanized blog, where thinkers and designers are musing about the state and future of cities.